Afghan vote count finally ends with H.E. President Karzai a landslide winner
Kabul, October 28, 2004 â€“ The presidential election vote count finally drew to a close Thursday with H.E. President Hamid Karzai the landslide victor, but an official declaration of his win is still awaiting the verdict of a fraud probe.
H.E. President Karzai, who has served as interim president for the past three years following the end of the Taliban's rule, won with more than 55 percent of the vote.
Former education minister Yunus Qanooni came in second nearly 40 percentage points behind.
"Vote counting has ended in all counting centers," vice chairman of the joint UN-Afghan electoral commission Ray Kennedy told a press briefing.
Although the election commission declared the vote over, the latest results on its website placed at 10:27 am (0557 GMT) showed only 99.7 percent of the votes tallied.
According to those figures, H.E. President Karzai had won 55.4 percent of the 8,026,222 valid votes counted, with Qanooni at 16.3 percent.
Former Planning Minister Mohammad Mohaqeq was third with 11.6 percent, followed by General Abdul Rashid Dostam on 10.0 percent.
Abdul Latif Pedram was in a distant fifth spot on 1.4 percent. The only woman to run for election, pediatrician Masooda Jalal, polled sixth with 1.2 percent of the votes, beating 12 candidates.
Although H.E. President Karzai must wait until the election commission completes its investigations into election fraud, there has been no indication the probes will invalidate the poll.
Once his victory is certified, H.E. President Karzai will become the country's first elected leader. His inauguration as elected president will take place 30 days after the formal announcement of his victory, and he will serve for five years.